Delhi Chokes Despite Diwali Firecracker Ban; Air Quality Poor in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai
New Delhi, Oct 20: The Supreme Court’s ban on sale of firecrackers on Diwali went up in smokes in Delhi as the national capital woke up to a blanket of smog today. The city’s air quality was recorded hazardous at many places.
While it is difficult to quantify the immediate effect of the ban on firecrackers, residents across the national capital felt the beginning was promising with neighbourhoods reporting much lesser noise and smoke till about 6 pm, compared to the previous years.
The situation was similar, if not worse, in the neighbouring regions of Delhi such as Gurugram, Noida and Ghaziabad, where crackers were burst as usual, raising question marks on the efficacy of the administration in enforcing the apex court’s ban.
Pollution levels also spiked in the financial capital after Diwali as well. According to SAFAR data, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was found to be ‘poor’ at 204 due to firecrackers and other weather factors.
However, Mumbaikars perfomed better as far as bursting crackers on Diwali is concerned. In 2016, the AQI was recorded ‘poor’ at 278 on Diwali and 315 the day after. It was 279 ‘poor’ on Diwali and 313 very poor) the next day in 2015.
Forecast suggests that the situation is likely to remain same on Saturday as well. The AQI is expected to stay at ‘poor’ level till Sunday.
Another Maharashtra city – Pune – gasped for fresh air on Diwali. The city recorded ‘very poor’ air quality on the morning after Diwali. Pune’s Air Quality Index is likely to remain poor on Saturday and will start improving from Sunday onwards, SAFAR data said.
Gujarat capital Ahmedabad recorded the best air quality amongst the megacities. The city’s air quality was recorded at ‘moderate’ level and it is likely to remain the same on Saturday.
Chennai too witnessed alarming air pollution levels the morning after Diwali.
The PM10 levels in Sowcarpet area touched 777. It was recorded 180 last year. At Triplicane near the Marina, it was 597, compared to 200 last year.
A day before Deepavali, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board had appealed to residents of the city to “restrict” bursting crackers to the “maximum extent possible”, considering weather conditions were “not conducive”, reported PTI.
Other cities across the country also recorded poor air quality after Diwali. Data showed ‘very poor’ air quality in Kolkata (358), Agra at (332) and Faridabad (309).